Psychological Themes In "Dead Poets Society"

745 words - 3 pages

In the movie Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams's character as Mr. Keating the English teacher is a hero. "Carpe Diem, lads! Seize the day! Make your lives drastically. Keating's viewpoints and thoughts on life stayed the same throughout the movie no matter what conflict was occurring. The students that Keating taught were the ones who
changed. They became more independent in their thinking and discovered what they wanted out of life. The change in these students is what caused the main conflict of the movie.

The conflict arose in Dead Poets Society as Keating's philosophies about life were challenged. Keating's fellow teachers at the conservative Welton Academy did not agree with his non-conformist method of teaching. Keating's peers believed that the students were not emotionally equipped to incorporate into their own lives the kind of freedom and nonconformism that Keating was selling. These teachers do not want the students to be free thinkers, only stuffed with facts and forced ideas to become doctors and lawyers.

The conflict deepens as Keating's students begin to rebel. The boys start their own
dead poet's society and begin living by the motto "Carpe Diem!." One of the main characters, Neil Perry, discovers his true passion in life. His father wants him to go through medical school and become a doctor, but Neil himself has his heart set on acting. His father lashes out on him for disobeying and Neil reacts drastically by committing suicide. This brings up the question whether or not Keating's coworkers were right when they said boys that age can't handle that kind of freedom. Did Neil really need conformity in his life, or did his father push him too far into conformity? I would like to believe that we as human beings could deal with complete freedom in life, but unfortunately we probably could not handle it.

I do believe that Robin Williams's character as Mr. Keating was justified in his
methods of teaching. Personally the teachers I have had that are similar to Mr. Keating have been my favorite teachers and people that I will never forget. They have taught me a lot about life and learning. I...

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